Federal govt raises Crown arrest concerns with China

Australia has indicated its concern to China over the detention of three Crown casino executives arrested in raids last month.

Speaking from Beijing on Tuesday, Justice Minister Michael Keenan said, “I raised that with both the Minister for Public Security and the Vice Minister for Public Security. I raised the concerns of the Australian government,” he told reporters. “Of course, we will respect China’s sovereignty. The Chinese government understands Australia’s interest”, he continued, noting that the detained Australian citizens were getting consular assistance.

“Following the money trail is an essential element” in tackling organized crime, he added, after the pact was signed with representatives of China’s Anti-Money Laundering Monitoring and Analysis Center.

About 18 Crown Resorts employees, including the three executives and another Australian resident, were picked up on Oct. 13.

They face potential charges related to encouraging Chinese nationals to gamble at overseas casinos, such as Crown in Australia.

Under Chinese law they can be detained for up to 37 days before they have to be charged or released, meaning that the issue should become clearer in about two weeks.